Category Archives: Arthur Russell
>Here’s for the holiday season our now-regular miscellaneous Ginsberg round-up, the last round-up for 2010
More Arthur Russell/Allen Ginsberg
You all know Arthur Russell’s appearance playing cello on “Do The Meditation Rock” from Nam June Paik’s Good Morning Mr. Orwell (1984) but here the two are again, Allen intoning this time on Arthur’s “Soon To Be Innocent Fun”, featuring John Moran with Allen Ginsberg, from the 1993 Meet The Locusts, produced by Philip Glass. Vocals are by John Moran, Joyce Bowden and Allen Ginsberg. Arrangement is by John Moran. Allen’s recorded voice also featured as “a patriarchal commentator named Justinius” in “Mathew in the School of Life”, Moran’s 1995 “science fiction techno opera”.
Ezra Pound and Allen Ginsberg
We’ve been meaning to get to this. Rodger Kamentz’s powerful verse essay, “Allen Ginsberg Forgives Ezra Pound on Behalf of the Jews” appeared recently in the Jewish Daily Forward. A verse essay, Kamentz explains is “a form that allows the exploration of ideas and associations as well as the use of documentary material” .The stepping off point of the poem was a 1992 interview. Read more of Kamentz’s introduction and the “essay” here. Here’s some more on Ginsberg and Pound (a 1967 poem from Allen that he dedicates to Pound) from the Winter 2008 issue of Flash Point magazine, and a photo taken by Ettore Sottsass.
Howl DVD and Blueray
January 4 2011 is the date of the release of the DVD and the Blueray versions of Howl, the movie, not too long to go now. Oscilloscope have informed us that these new Howl releases will feature the following bonus materials:
“Commentary by James Franco and the Directors”; “Holy! Holy! Holy! Making of Howl”; “Original interviews with Allen Ginsberg’s friends and collaborators”; “James Franco Reads “Howl”” – (An) “Audio Excerpt Performance: Ginsberg in 1995 at NYC’s Knitting Factory” (with additional BD-only clips); (A) “Q&A Session with the Filmmakers, as moderated by John Cameron Mitchell “(BD-only)
Harold Chapman’s Photos
January 4 also marks the date of the Harold Chapman Paris and the Beat Hotel sale at Bonham’s in London. A collection of Chapman’s prints titled “Peter Golding’s Harold Chapman Archive” is going up for sale. See our recent note on his last show this past summer at London’s Proud Galleries. The Archive consists of 108 photographs, approximately half of which were reproduced in Chapman’s 1984 The Beat Hotel book (which featured introductory texts by William S Burroughs and Brion Gysin – see also Harold Chapman, Beats A Paris: Und Die Dichter Der Beat Generation 1957-1963). A selection of prints are up for viewing now, and the entire set be viewed upon request. A recent BBC film report on Chapman’s work can be found here.
Dylan and Ginsberg
Sean Wilentz, whose book on Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan in America, is another book we’ve profiled, was recently interviewed in American Songwriter.com about the Dylan-Ginsberg link “The two of them had a profound impact on each other in terms of cultural imagery”, Wilentz declares, ”Dylan helped inspire some of his greater (sic) poems, including “Wichita Vortex Sutra.” Ginsberg helped legitimize Dylan’s lyric writing as serious poetry, and Dylan helped render Ginsberg into a kind of pop figure which he had not been before.”
On The Road Film
We told you last month that we’d keep you posted about the filming of On The Road. You know the one where Tom Sturridge plays Carlo Marx/Allen Ginsberg? Well, shooting’s wrapped up, apparently. Here’s a photo-essay from our good friends in San Francisco at the Beat Museum. And here’s a note from the local paper in the very final stop, the very final location, Locke, Louisiana.
>Just came across this fantastic take on Arthur Russell’s creative process in connection with Buddhism by Marcus Boon. Definitely worth a read. (btw, If you haven’t had a chance to check out Tim Lawrence’s Arthur Russell book Hold on to Your Dreams, we highly recommend that too especially if you’ve got more than a passing interest in the NYC art/music/poetry scenes of the 1970s & 80s. )
“I’m just finishing Tim Lawrence’s excellent biography of Arthur Russell, Hold On To Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992. In some ways, New York in the 1970s is starting to be very well charted territory, but the complicated web of connections between different scenes which is described in this book is still news, and Lawrence draws out these connections with the same loving detail he brought to his first book, Love Saves The Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979. ” Read complete entry >>
>Nice little plug from pitchfork as well as Consequence of Sound (CoS)
CoS’s great quote: “Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear, who worked on Love is Overtaking Me and just generally seems to admire Russell, handled the digital transfers for the vinyl version of “Ballad of the Lights”. The vinyl’s B-side will be an old Russell and Ginsberg work, 1971’s “Pacific High Studio Mantras”.
To indie it up a little, Archer Prewitt of The Sea and Cake designed the cover art (pictured).”
“Ballad of the Lights” is a collaboration between NYC avant-pop hero Arthur Russell and beat poet Allen Ginsberg originally recorded in 1977. The track was recently unearthed from Russell’s archive and will be released digitally as well as on a limited edition 10″ vinyl on October 19 via Japanese label Press Pop and Audika.
>Ubu web now has the complete WNET edit of Good Morning Mr Orwell online, Nam June Paik’s first international satellite intstallation, edited from live broadcast between Paris, Germany and New York City, and inlcuded Peter Gabriel, Laurie Anderson, George Plimpton, Oingo Boingo, Philip Glass, Thompson Twins, John Cage, Joseph Beuys, Merce Cunningham, and Allen Ginsberg with Arthur Russell, Peter Orlovsky and Steven Taylor. Click on over to Ubuweb for the fullscreen version >>
>For quite sometime we thought photographer Harold Chapman had vanished without a trace. All we had was his amazing book of photos from the Beat Hotel in the late 50s and early 60s. His shots of Peter and Allen, Ian Sommerville, William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, and Gregory Corso, are among the most iconic ever shot of these people, but his chronicling of the characters and scene at the hotel on 9 rue Git-le-Coeur, is pretty much the only visual documentation there is of that era. At any rate, he resurfaced some 5 years ago with a few photo exhibitions here in the states via OMC Gallery in Huntington Beach, as well as in Britain, and now there’s a short film in the works by filmmaker Alan Govenar telling his side of the story, that includes extensive interviews with him and Jean-Jaques Lebel. The trailer is now on You Tube. (this one doesn’t fit right on the page for some reason. Sorry ya’ll!)
LA Times ran a short mention over the weekend. They don’t seem to be aware a larger, expanded version of Chapman’s Beat Hotel book is available, published by Kellner Verlag in Hamburg. We have copies available through the Ginsberg.org website. They’re also available through the OMC Gallery in Huntington Beach.
Another recent You Tube gem is from Nam June Paik’s PBS TV Special “Good Morning Mr Orwell” broadcast New Years Day, 1984. Here’ Allen singing “Meditation Rock” with Arthur Russell, Steven Taylor and Peter Orlovksy.
Matt Wolf’s intimate documentary on Arthur Russell premiered last spring and is now available on dvd as well as through iTunes. Though I was well aware of the recordings they’d done together, I hadn’t realized quite how frequently his and Allen’s lives intersected beyond that.
Tim Lawrence’s Arthur Russell biography Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-92 is due in stores, Fall 2009.